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Traditional Homebirths, Midwifery Practices, and Prenatal Care Seeking Behaviors Among Indigenous Women: A Qualitative study


Madre de Dios, Peru


May 15, 2017 - September 30, 2017

Project Objectives

Indigenous communities are subjected to health disparities for variety of reasons across all
areas of the world. In the Amazon rainforest and other rural areas, indigenous peoples often are
unable to access western health care services at health posts due to the inability to pay for
services, long wait times at clinics, and geographical distance and transportation difficulties.
Such disparities create challenges for indigenous mothers in seeking and receiving prenatal and
care from health posts. As a result, indigenous communities continue to utilize prenatal care
and birthing services through midwifery practices that their communities have used throughout
their existence. While healthy births occur using these traditional methods, access disparities
prove troublesome when complications arise during pregnancy and labor. For this and other
reasons, tensions between western health care workers and indigenous peoples has resulted
from the inability to accept or access practices of the opposite party. This study qualitatively
addresses the gap in literature for indigenous communities in the Amarakaeri Communal
Reserve in the Peruvian region of Madre de Dios using in-depth interviews with mothers from
Diamante, Shipetirari, and Salvacion. Additionally, midwives and traditional birth attendants from
each respective community participated in focus group discussions, as did local health post

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